Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Date 16 June 2012 - 30 June 2012

Event ID 992702

Category Recording

Type Excavation


NJ 4974 2634 An excavation was carried out 16–30 June 2012 at Barflat on the 5th- to 6th -century palisaded enclosure and associated structures identified during the first phase of trial excavation in 2011 (DES 2011, 27) and previous geophysical survey and aerial photography.

The excavation included a large proportion of the interior of the enclosures that surround the Craw Stane (NJ 49749 26345). In the area opened in 2012 linear settings of postholes, plank slots and associated features from at least one large timber building were located. These structural features lay within the two ditched enclosures and the palisade identified in 2011. Further sections were dug across the inner and outer ditches and the palisade to clarify the structural elements of the defended enclosures that surround the Craw Stane. The post and beam settings found near the Craw Stane appear to represent elements of an elaborate entrance structure to the fort. Clear evidence for the use of planks in the palisade construction was detected. The substantial area damaged by cattle in 2005 was also revealed during the excavation, underlining the threats to the site.

Artefacts recovered included early medieval metalworking tongs, sherds of imported Late Roman Amphorae (B-ware) of 6th-century date, bronze and iron pins, metalworking moulds for pins and a brooch, glass-working debris and sherds of 6th-century continental glass. This second phase of evaluative work strongly suggests that the Craw Stane and two other symbol stones (the Rhynie Man and a smaller slab) found downslope from the Craw Stane were associated with a high status, possibly royal site, encompassing settlement and ritual dimensions of the 5–6th century AD. Detailed post-excavation including radiocarbon dating will help to further elucidate the full sequence.

Archive: University of Aberdeen (currently)

Funder: British Academy, University of Aberdeen; University of Chester; Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

G Noble, University of Aberdeen, M Gondek, E Campbell, O Sveinbjarnarson 2012


People and Organisations